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New Bail Law Continues Cracks Down on Criminals

Minister of Police Hon George Hawkins has welcomed a new law that continues the Government's tough regime against hardened recidivist criminals.

Parliament has passed a new Bail law that targets hard core offenders who have had 14 or more previous custodial sentences. Statistics show such offenders have a 80% to 90% chance of reoffending while on bail.

The past law saw Police having to persuade the Courts that these hardened criminals should not be bailed. The new Bail law reverses the onus of proof, where the alleged offenders will have to prove to the Courts that they are safe to be released back into the community.

"This Government is committed to take all practical steps to prevent crimes from occurring. This new law continues a planned crackdown on criminals," George Hawkins said.

This tougher stance is being applauded by Insurance Council chief executive Chris Ryan who said today: "Anyone who cannot see the investment being made by the Government in the Bail Bill should look at the cost of crime and the patterns of repeat offenders more closely.

"The Insurance Council is a strong supporter of the Government's law and order policies promoted by both Mr Goff and Mr Hawkins," Chris Ryan said. He acknowledged this Government is moving toward creating a safer society and a stronger more effective Police force in New Zealand.

George Hawkins said: "On becoming Government we said we would enforce a strict law and order regime. We instructed Police to attend burglaries within 24 hours. I instructed Police to consider burglary a priority crime. Already we have seen results.

"Police now turn up to burglaries on average within 7 hours 11 minutes. Burglary rates have fallen by 8.5% and a record number of burglaries are being solved. There has been a 17% reduction in unlawful takings of motor vehicles and a 16.5% drop in thefts from cars," George Hawkins said.

"The passing of the Bail Bill into law prevents violent and hardened criminals from continuing their cycle of crime. And as a consequence there will be fewer victims in New Zealand," George Hawkins said.

Ends

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